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UK snow: Which airports are closed due to weather?

Some 240 flights have been cancelled two and from UK airports

Lucy Thackray
Monday 12 December 2022 12:04 GMT
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UK: Heavy Snow Forces Manchester Airport To Close Its Runways

The UK’s cold snap has led to disruption at some airports, especially in the south and east of the country.

On Sunday, passengers on dozens of flights heading for Stansted and Gatwickairports touched down at airports as far away as Amsterdam and Newcastle instead.

One easyJet flight from Pisa to Gatwick flew a holding pattern over the Channel while hoping to land at the Sussex airport, then diverted to Southampton, which was also closed, before diverting to Manchester.

Meanwhile, Stansted closed for a portion of Sunday evening due to the need to clear its runway of snow.

As we head into Monday morning,The Independent calculates that some 240 flights have been cancelled to and from UK airports due to the extreme weather.

So which airports are operating, and which flights should be double checked?

Here’s everything we know so far.

Which airports are most affected?

No UK airports are currently closed due to the snow, though several are seeing disruption and cancellations as we move towards Monday afternoon.

Airports in the south and east of the UK have seen most disruption, with London City, Gatwick, Stansted and Southampton all pausing operations temporarily due to the weather.

London Heathrow

Heathrow was seeing disruption and delays as of Monday morning, with many flights scheduled for first thing taking off an hour or two behind schedule.

British Airways alone has grounded more than 70 short-haul flights to and from London Heathrow today. Destinations with multiple cancellations include Belfast, Edinburgh, Milan, Zurich and Barcelona.

London Gatwick

As of 10.30am on Monday (12 December), London Gatwick was advising: “The airport is open and flights are operating, however freezing weather is causing some delays and cancellations.

“Please check the status of your flight with your airline - and local travel conditions - before coming to the airport.”

Around 40 departures have been cancelled on Monday so far out of 270, while 30 flights were diverted on Sunday during the runway closure.

London City

London City has cancelled 46 flights due to the snow so far on Monday, with some flights into the east London airport having been diverted to Norwich, Birmingham and Cardiff.

A spokesperson said: “Flights are restarting. To ensure everyone’s safety, there’s a flow restriction on arrivals and departures to begin with, which will continue to cause some disruption this morning. We encourage passengers to contact their airlines for updates.”

London Stansted

A Stansted spokesperson confirmed that the airport’s runway had been temporarily closed from approximately 20.20 to 3am on Sunday night/Monday morning in order to clear snow. “Earlier in the day (Sunday) freezing fog affected departures with airlines needing to de-ice aircraft, slowing down the flow of departures. Across [Sunday], 47 departures were cancelled, along with 59 arrivals, mostly at the end of the day.

Now, they say: “The airport is open and the runway fully operational today, but there are knock on effects to flights because of yesterday’s impacts and cancelations - airline schedules may be disrupted due to crew and aircraft being out of position. 29 departing flights have been cancelled today.”

The airport is advising customers to check for flight disruption with their airlines.

London Luton

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: “The airport is open and in operation but there have been some weather-related delays or cancellations. Our advice to passengers is to please check with your airline for the latest status of your flight. The weather conditions may also mean that public transport and routes to and from the airport could be affected so passengers should allow extra time when travelling to the airport.”

Southampton

This morning, flights were departing from Southampton Airport, but most were delayed by around 20 minutes to an hour.

The Independent has approached the aforementioned UK airports for the latest updates.

How do I know if my flight is cancelled?

Airlines have been notifying customers of changes to their flights via email, text or their apps.

You can also check their websites for the latest disruption updates.

EasyJet, which operates flights from both Gatwick and Stansted, advised customers to use its flight tracker to track disruption in realtime before departures on Monday and Sunday.

It advised customers whose flights have been cancelled due to snow that they may “switch to another flight for free, choose a voucher for the full value of your ticket [or] request a refund.”

Are air travellers having any other problems?

The UK rail network has been heavily disrupted, especially around London and the southeast, making it difficult for passengers to reach London and regional airports.

Due to the scale of the disruption, some passengers have also reported being unable to manage or change their flights.

A Ryanair customer’s son tweeted on Monday: “My parents got an email notifying them of their flight being cancelled (your website says the same) but the system is not letting them move them to another flight as it says the flight is still scheduled. Could I please get some assitance from an operator? Thanks.”

Liam Henderson tweeted that “the [Ryanair] website is claiming ‘Flight has not been cancelled or delayed’” seven hours after his flight was cancelled on Sunday.

Some airline websites seem unable to process the latest flight cancellations and adjust customer bookings to allow for changes.

A traveller name Reuben wrote to Wizzair: “My flight was cancelled, the link to rebook in the cancellation email doesn’t work, the bookings page in my account shows no option to rebook or cancel as it’s not showing as cancelled, and your live chat agents are never available. So what am I supposed to do?”

British Airways has also reported its phone lines being clogged, tweeting: “We’re experiencing high call volumes due to current disruption. To check the status of your flight go to http://ba.com or if you would like to refund/rebook, please log in to your booking online”.

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